Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Spring 2012 Departmental Workshops

Departmental Workshop Week is for any student who is enrolled in the 2011 Fall Semester! Built into the Fall Semester curriculum, workshop week is designed to help students learn about topics, styles and techniques that go beyond their private lesson, ensemble or class. Each student will choose one workshop to attend (lessons, ensembles and classes will not take place during workshop week). Students must sign up in advance for the workshop of their choice by calling PMAC at 603-431-4278, e-mailing katie@pmaconline.org, registering online at  http://www.pmaconline.org/registration.html or by simply enrolling for a workshop through your instructor!

Below is detailed information pertaining to the upcoming Departmental Workshops (including descriptions of each workshop at the bottom of this post). This is PMAC's eighth year of providing workshops for private lesson students. It is one of the advantages of studying at a community school and designed to be fun and informative for all students. PMAC students can register for a workshop online by clicking here. 


TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2012

3:30-4:30pm 
Active Listening for Beginning Students (Ages 5-8). Listening to music is as important to young students as practicing. We will continue to explore the difference between listening to music in the background and 'actively' listening. In this workshop, students will discuss identifying time signatures and form as well as expand on their ability to identify instruments. Workshop teaching team: Nicole Hajj, Katie Backus, Wendell Purrington, Virginia Macdonald. 

4:45 - 5:45pm
BoomWhacker Workshop (All Ages). Come explore the wacky world of Boomwhackers in this intergenerational ensemble experience. Workshop participants will work together to learn a song, while developing listening and ensemble skills. Great for the student who is new to ensembles or just wants to try something different. Limited to 16 people. Workshop teaching team: Virginia Macdonald, Katie Backus, Nicole Hajj. 

6:00-7:00pm
Find Your Voice (All Instruments Ages 11+, Geared for Non-Voice Students). Learn to sing out! Students will discuss techniques for warming up, the difference between ones ‘chest’ voice and ones ‘head’ voice and how to figure out your range. Workshop teaching team: Wendell Purrington, Nick Phaneuf, Nicole Hajj. 

7:15 - 8:15pm 
Hand Percussion and Auxiliary Percussion (Ages 9+). In this workshop students will work on playing as an ensemble as well as learn about the roles and techniques of various percussive instruments. Workshop teaching team: John Peiffer, Jim Rudolf, Nick Phaneuf. May 29 from 7:15 - 8:15pm.  Special Thanks to The Drum Center of Portsmouth for loaning instruments for this workshop!


WEDNESDAY, MAY 30, 2012

3:30-4:30pm 
Active Listening for Beginning Students (Ages 5-8). Listening to music is as important to young students as practicing. We will continue to explore the difference between listening to music in the background and 'actively' listening. In this workshop students will discuss identifying time signatures and form as well as expand on their ability to identify instruments. Workshop teaching team: Jeff Auger, Michelle Enos, Bryan Killough, Dianne Tiezzi. 

4:45-5:45pm 
Piano Improv Laboratory (Ages 9+ Piano/Keyboard Students). Students will work on a few improvising techniques such as playing with a melodic theme. They will also work on playing with multiple piano players and the various roles they might play in a piano ensemble. Workshop teaching team: Jeff Auger, Eric Klaxton, Michelle Enos. 

6:00-7:00pm 
Exploring the Music of John Cage (Ages 11 +). Learn about John Cage and experience first hand his unique style of composition that changed the world of music forever!  As one of the most influential American composers of the 20th century, he was a pioneer of composing using the method of chance, and of the non-standard use of instruments.  His compositions include 4’33” (4 minutes and 33 seconds of silence in 3 movements), Concerto for Prepared Piano (prepared by placing objects between or on the piano’s strings, hammers, or dampers), and Imaginary Landscape No.4 (for 12 radios).  Bring your instrument, creativity, and an open mind to thisworkshop as we leap out-of-the-box with John Cage!” Workshop teaching team: Kibbie Straw, Russ Grazier. 

7:15-8:45pm (90 minutes)
Rhythm Section: Working Together (Drums, Guitar, Bass and Piano ages 12+). Bring your instruments! The Rhythm Section, working as a team, is responsible for creating the 'feel' of a song. Faculty will demonstrate a few more types of grooves and explain each instruments role in creating it. Then they will turn it over to the students and give them a chance to try them out in small groups.Workshop teaching team: Mike Walsh, Jeff Auger, Nick Phaneuf, Bryan Killough. 

THURSDAY, MAY 31, 2012

4:00-5:00pm 
COLOSSAL Cartoon Close-Ups!! (Ages 6-9). Get ready to think BIG! In this workshop young artists will explore the wild world of creating a cartoon character. From personality, to props, clothing, hair and facial features -what makes cartoon FUN is in the details. Then, we'll look close and create over-sized, bold 3ftx3ft cartoons! Animals, aliens, people and even objects will come to life in thisworkshop! Limited to 12 students. Workshop teaching team: Anna Nuttall, Laura Beaudoin. 

5:15-6:45pm (90 minutes)
Expression Session: Drawing Emotions in Art (Ages 10-14). Students will be exploring the expressive side of drawing facial expressions. Students will explore how color relates to emotion and expression. Each student will leave with a portrait they've created showcasing an emotion. Limited to 12 students. Workshop teaching team: Jeff Moses, Anna Nuttall. May 31 from 5:15 - 6:45pm.

7:00-9:00pm 
What Do You Like and Why? Adult Listening Workshop (Adult Students Only). "Talking about music is like dancing about architecture." - David Bryne Students will bring in a short piece or song (less than 10 minutes) to listen to as a group (guilty pleasures are welcome too!) We will explore what it is about music that moves us through active listening. Workshop teaching team: Nick Phaneuf, David Orr. 

FRIDAY, JUNE 1

3:30-4:30pm 
How to Play Reggae (Ages 12+). Reggae is a fusion of Jamaican traditional music with 50's/60's era soul music from the U.S.  In thisworkshop we'll play a few examples of what the reggae feel is all about.  We'll also hear what it was fused with, from reggae influence in punk to subgenres like dubstep, dancehall, and dub music. Students who sign up for this workshop must obtain a copy of the written music from the office and must learn it so we can play in the workshopWorkshop teaching team: Mike Effenberger, Mike Walsh, Nick Phaneuf, Jim Dozet. 

4:45-6:15pm 
Visual Jazz featuring Guest Artist Roger Goldenberg (Ages 11+). This interdisciplinary workshop will show students how improvisational music and art can be combined. Artist Roger Goldenberg and jazz ensemble lead Matt Langely will demonstrate how they fuel each other and interact while improvising together. Music students: bring your instruments. Art students: be ready to create (supplies will be provided). Workshop teaching team: Matt Langley, Mike Effenberger, Mike Walsh, Anna Nuttall.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fall 2011 Department Workshop Schedule and Information

Departmental Workshop Week is for any student who is enrolled in the 2011 Fall Semester! Built into the Fall Semester curriculum, workshop week is designed to help students learn about topics, styles and techniques that go beyond their private lesson, ensemble or class. Each student will choose one workshop to attend (lessons, ensembles and classes will not take place during workshop week). Students must sign up in advance for the workshop of their choice by calling PMAC at 603-431-4278, e-mailing katie@pmaconline.org, registering online at www.pmaconline.org or by simply enrolling for a workshop through your instructor!

Below is detailed information pertaining to the upcoming Departmental Workshops (including descriptions of each workshop at the bottom of this post). This is PMAC's eighth year of providing workshops for private lesson students. It is one of the advantages of studying at a community school and designed to be fun and informative for all students. PMAC students can register for a workshop online by clicking here.

FALL 2011 DEPARTMENTAL WORKSHOPS:
November 20 - 22, 2010

What are Departmental Workshops? Departmental Workshops are master classes for all PMAC students: music and art; youth and adult; private lesson, ensemble and class. These workshops are presented by our faculty and focus on creativity including musicianship, artisic development, performance techniques, listening and understanding, music equipment, artistic mediums and repertoire.

Why do I have to attend? As a PMAC student, workshop attendance is strongly encouraged. This is an opportunity to work with different teachers, meet students with similar interests and learn something new. There are no lessons, ensembles or classes the week of Departmental Workshops to give everyone time to attend.

When are the Workshops? The dates of the workshops are November 20 - 22, 2011.

Please note some important changes, based on feedback from students, parents and faculty during our 2010 Strategic Plan listening sessions and surveys: Departmetal workshops are now desiged for ALL students, music and art. Music students may take an art workshop and art students may take a music workshop. There are a wider variety of workshops for adults and several that are for youth and adults combined. We also are working to incorporate workshops that discuss the relationships between music and visual art. We hope you like these changes and welcome feedback.

Where are they located? All Workshops take place in our PMAC Recital Hall.

How do I sign-up? Please talk to your instructor directly to get their recommendation for the best workshop for your ability. All workshops are limited to 25 participants – no exceptions! – so be sure to sign up early to get the class of your choice. If you have any questions, please call the PMAC Office at 431-4278, register for a workshop online at www.pmaconline.org or e-mail Katie at katie@pmaconline.org.


SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2011

Mural Making Party!, 2:00 - 3:00pm
Come enjoy hands-on fun and create a GIANT masterpiece mural that reflects YOUR creative side! Share your artistic and musical inspirations as well as ALL the things you love through this art project!! The mural will be hung at PMAC, and go on tour to PMAC events in the future! We will also create our own individual works of art to take home that day! Workshop Teaching Team: Anna Nuttall & Laura Beaudoin. Open to students ages 7-12 (maximum 8).

Swing Feeling, 3:00 - 4:00pm
What is swing? Who invented it? Students will learn to snap on “two and four,” and play swung eigth notes on their instruments. We will also listen to some hot examples of swinging beats as well as discuss how to use a metronome to practice swing at home. Workshop teaching team: Bryan Bergeron Killough, Jim Rudolf, and John Peiffer. Open at all ages & abilities.

From “It’s Gonna Rain” to “WTC 9/11”: The Spoken Word and Social Commentary in the Music of Steve Reich, 4:30 - 6:00pm 
Join PMAC founder and composer Russ Grazier in a discussion of the music of New York composer Steve Reich, focusing on four works that incorporate spoken word recordings: “It’s Gonna Rain” (1964), “Come Out” (1966), “Different Trains” (1988), and “WTC 9/11” (2011). Reich, a prominent American minimalist composer, has explored the integration of spoken word and music throughout his career, most recently with the controversial “WTC 9/11,” a reaction to the World Trade Center attack of 9/11/01. This workshop centers on a discussion of two ways Reich has incorporated spoken word recordings into his music. These recordings contain graphic content that is not suitable for younger students. For youth students who choose to attend, parents are encouraged to attend the workshop with their child (parents must reserve a spot on the sign-up sheet, as there is only room for 30 people in the recital hall for this type of workshop). Please e-mail russ@pmaconline.org with any questions. Recordings will be available from the PMAC office to allow for listening sessions prior to the workshop. A listening station will be set up in the extended lobby - the CDs may not be copied or removed from the building. (Recommended for ages 13 and up with parental consent for youth students due to the graphic nature of the material). Workshop teaching team: Russ Grazier and Nick Phaneuf.

Adult Student Performance Workshop, 7:00 - 9:00pm
Adult private lesson students are invited to attend this important session where we get the opportunity to play our pieces for each other, discuss the unique challenges and joys of learning music as an adult, and partake in wonderful food and libations! Limited to Adult Students age 21+. Workshop teaching team: Katie Backus and Jeff Auger.


MONDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2011

Active Listening for Beginning Students, 3:30 - 4:30pmListening to music is as important to young students as practicing. We will explore the difference between listening to music in the background and 'actively' listening. In this workshop students will discuss identifying instruments and recognizing melodic themes. For Students age 5 - 8. Workshop teaching team: Diane Tiezzi, Jeff Auger, and Nicole Hajj. Parents are welcome.

History of Guitar in the Americas: 1840-1930, 4:45 - 5:45pm
We will be discussing the period from the first steel string acoustic to the beginning of the electric era. We will discuss the influence that construction had on the guitars role in modern music and the way players' desires drove innovation. Students will also learn about other South American chordophones that have influenced the modern guitar. For all students age 8 +. Workshop teaching team: Jim Dozet, Nick Phaneuf, and Carlos Sabina.

Which Came First? Voice and Lyrics in Jazz, 6:00 - 7:00pm
Some songs begin their life with lyrics and vocals and then become instrumentals. Some songs have gone the other way. Faculty will demonstrate a number of jazz songs and discuss the influence that the human voice has had the way jazz melodies are played and how vocalists are influenced by the sounds that various instruments make. For all students/instruments age 9 +. Workshop teaching team: Eric Klaxton, Nicole Hajj, Jeff Auger, and Mike Walsh.

Rhythm Section: Working Together, 7:15 - 8:15pm
Bring your instruments! The Rhythm Section, working as a team, is responsible for creating the 'feel' of a song. Faculty will demonstrate a few different types of grooves and explain each instruments role in creating it. Then they will turn it over to the students and give them a chance to try them out in small groups. For Drums, Guitar, Bass and Piano ages 12+. Workshop teaching team: Mike Walsh, Nick Phaneuf, Mike Effenberger, and Jim Dozet.

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2011

Active Listening for Beginning Students, 3:30 - 4:30pm
Listening to music is as important to young students as practicing. We will explore the difference between listening to music in the background and ‘actively’ listening. In this workshop students will discuss identifying instruments and recognizing melodic themes. For Students age 5 - 8. Workshop teaching team: Michelle Enos, Judy McCann, and Katie Backus. Parents are welcome.

Developing Musicianship: Learn Techniques to Make Practicing More Rewarding & Performing More Fun!,
4:45 - 5:45pm
Boston Symphony musician Eli Epstein put together a booklet for students to help them make the most of their time and energy with their music. This workshop material will be explored with workshop faculty and can be further expanded on in lessons with their instructor. Students will learn practical practice techniques and how to make the most of their own learning style. For Students ages 10+. Workshop teaching team: Ginna Macdonald, Michelle Enos and Nicole Hajj.

See a Song; Hear a Painting, 6:00 - 7:00pm
In this workshop attendees will discover the connections between sight and sound from two perspectives: that of art-maker, and art appreciator. We will view works of art, hear musical selections, and even do a short art activity. Direct connections between emotions and moods, lines and colors, and tone and tempos will be explored! Open to all music and art students ages 12+. Workshop teaching team: Anna Nuttall, Nick Phaneuf, Matt Langley, and Jeff Moses.

Singing for the Untrained Singer, 7:15 - 8:15pm
If you sing but you don't consider yourself a 'singer' then this workshop is for you! In this workshop students will learn the basics of breathing as well as techniques to sing safely and to maximize their sound! Open to all of all instruments age 11+. Workshop teaching team: Judy McCann, Nicole Hajj, and Nick Phaneuf.

QUESTIONS? Please call us at PMAC at 603-431-4278 or e-mail katie@pmaconline.org

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Heartened by City's Music Program

I wrote the following for today's Portsmouth Herald Opinion Page. It's also available online here.


Last evening I attended Portsmouth Middle School’s wonderful “Music in Our Schools Month” Concert in the PHS auditorium. The annual event featured performances by the Jazz Band, Rock Band, 6th Grade Chorus, 7th and 8th Grade Chorus, Flute Ensemble, Clarinet Ensemble and 8th Grade Band. I came away from the night proud of our community’s well established and flourishing music program. For the several hundred parents and grandparents in the audience, it was immediately evident that these programs are embraced by the students, who fill the stage and appear to be participating in record numbers. There is no doubt that music is an important part of their lives.

As an educator, I realize the power of a balanced curriculum that includes strong creative studies. Our economy is increasingly shaped by innovation and technological advancement. The skills that define the workforce of the 21st century are learned not only in the science lab and mathematics classroom, but also in art and band rooms. It was not by chance that during my years at the University of Chicago, the student orchestra was filled with physics, science, mathematics and medical students. The great thinkers of our future will depend on creative problem solving skills that are significantly developed through music and art studies.


As a musician I can attest to the role music plays in building social capital. What is social capital? Lew Feldstein, former president of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation describes it best: social capital "refers to the bonds that tie a community together - bonds that make communities safer, schools better and people healthier. When people are invested in their communities, they are more likely to vote, volunteer and care for one another." Participation in music programs from the earliest ages through adulthood is one of the strongest ways to build social capital in your community. I see it every day here in Portsmouth.

As a parent I am proud to see my sons express themselves through music. It’s not easy being a teenager, and in this day of cyber-bullying, and the constant bombardment of commercial entertainment, creative outlets are critical to the health and well-being of our children. It was a joy to hear them perform Benny Goodman’s “Sing Sing Sing” with their friends Wednesday night.

As a citizen of Portsmouth, I value the education our children receive in the public schools - every aspect of that education. I am grateful to our music teachers for the high quality education they provide. I congratulate the students for a job well done. And I have some hope for our future because our community has deemed education to be of great value. Let’s keep it that way.


Russ Grazier Jr.
Executive Director of the Portsmouth Music and Arts Center
Vice President of the Parents Music Club
PHS Class of 1986
Proud Parent

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ten concerts I'm glad I didn't miss in 2010

2010 was a great year for live music - if you are interested in smaller theaters and independent artists. For big acts it was a year to forget, with ticket sales down and and the industry's unsustainable practices finally catching up with them. Here are the concerts that highlighted my year - I fell in love with music all over again at each one. I post them here to celebrate the amazing work of these musicians and to encourage YOU to get out there and hear live music. There is an amazing scene out there right now if you know where to look.


10) ftet, the "Chris Klaxton farewell show" at The Press Room, Portsmouth, NH - This fall the Portsmouth music scene lost one of its budding icons to a Masters Degree program in Miami. Chris Klaxton had become such an integral part of our local music that his departure was met with disbelief as well as a cover story in Spotlight Magazine. Keeping my fingers crossed that he gets that degree finished quickly and comes home, but wishing him much success wherever he lands. Mike Effenberger's ftet featured Klaxton on trumpet, Matt Langley on sax, Jim Rudolf on drums and Effenberger on organ. A great jazz combo playing tunes from the newest American songbook - Radiohead, Pink Floyd, Nirvana and more.

9) The Monterrey Jazz All-Stars featuring Regina Carter, Kurt Elling and Russell Malone at The Music Hall, Portsmouth, NH - The Music Hall continues to be a focal point in Portsmouth by bringing amazing artists to town week after week and 2010 was no exception. A highlight of the evening was when most of the band left the stage to let Regina Carter and Russell Malone do their thing. Playful, joyous, and communicative on so many levels.

8) fiveighthirteen with The Attic Bits at The Barley Pub, Dover, NH - The trio of Phaneuf, Effenberger and Walsh delivered a stellar performance of their long awaited release, GLACIAL, which was no surprise. What was unexpected was the amazingly creative 8-bit sounds of The Attic Bits. I never thought I could enjoy the sounds of a vintage Gameboy so thoroughly.


7) Ron Carter with Russell Malone at The Blue Note, NYC - Our first time at The Blue Note, with the legendary Ron Carter leading the drumless trio. Mulgrew Miller was supposed to be on the bill, but for some reason was replaced by Renee Rosnes. Short set, but oh so sweet. They performed the best rendition of My Funny Valentine I've ever heard. Anyone who can make that tune sound new blows my mind.

6) Herbie Hancock at The Music Hall, Portsmouth, NH - With Vinnie Colaiuta on drums and Tal Wilkenfeld on bass, this was one great show.

5) Buika at The Music Hall, Portsmouth, NH - Ever go to a show not knowing anything about the artist? And then they floor you? That sums it up. Great band, amazing singing by Buika whose distinctive voice and style capture you from the first note. Jazzy, bluesy and lots of soul. Another reason to love The Music Hall.

4) Dan Blakeslee, Tatnic Tales CD Release Party at The Press Room, Portsmouth, NH - Tatnic Tales is without a doubt one of the jewels of 2010. And a fantastic live show bringing it to life with Dan, Nick Phaneuf on bass and Jim Rudolf on drums.

3) David Binney with Brian Blade at Joe's Pub, NYC - Indie jazz? That's the scene these guys are making. We were up close an personal at this show...so close I could reach out and touch Binney, though that would've been creepy. Blade stole the show, which was hard to do since the whole band was on fire. Great, great jazz, but another case of NYC shows being way too short. Can't wait to catch Binney again. We'll be seeing Blade again in just a few months with Wayne Shorter. Looking forward to that.

2) Tegan and Sara at The Orpheum, Boston - I've been in love with their music since I first heard The Con in 2007. Sainthood continues in that tradition and the show, before about 3,000 adoring fans, was remarkably intimate. Especially considering their electronic, 80's style songwriting. So many musicians could learn a lot about connecting with an audience from these two.

1) The Dresden Dolls 10th Anniversary Reunion Show, night one, at The Wilbur Theatre, Boston - And speaking of connection with the audience, Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione are the masters of rock intimacy. The first night of their 2-night reunion show in Boston featured a complete performance of thier first studio release, the self-titled Dresden Dolls as well as some great covers and songs from their other two albums. We went to both shows, but night one stood out as being quite remarkable. Not much else I could say that I haven't already said about the wonder duo. Could a new album be in their future. Let's hold hands and pray...please!

HONORABLE MENTION:
Elsa Cross at The Press Room, Portsmouth, NH


Spinal Tarp II at The Barley Pub, Dover, NH


Robert Gerry Trio at The Barley Pub, Dover, NH


Jerry Bergonzi and Phil Grenadier with the Ryan Parker Trio at The Press Room, Portsmouth, NH


Rush at Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT

Monday, November 08, 2010

Fall 2010 Music Department Workshops

Below is detailed information pertaining to the upcoming Departmental Workshops. This is PMAC's seventh year of providing workshops for private lesson students. It is one of the advantages of studying at a community school and designed to be fun and informative for all students. PMAC lesson students can register for a workshop online by clicking here. Also check out my May 2005 Blog Post: The Value of Departmental Workshops.

MUSIC DEPARTMENTAL WORKSHOPS:
November 21 - 23, 2010

What are Departmental Workshops? Departmental Workshops are master classes for all private music lesson students who study at PMAC. These workshops are presented by our faculty and focus on musicianship, performance techniques, music equipment and repertoire.

Why do I have to attend? As a private music lesson student, workshop attendance is mandatory. This is an opportunity to work with different teachers, meet students with similar interests and learn something new. There are no lessons the week of Departmental Workshops to give everyone time to attend.

When are the Workshops? The dates are the workshops are June 1-5, 2010. Please note the following: We’ve added two Friday workshops and a Saturday workshop to accommodate 5th grade students who will be attending Environmental Camp this week and the Adult Workshop will be on Tuesday evening.

Where are they located? All Workshops take place in our PMAC Recital Hall.

How do I sign-up? Please talk to your instructor directly to get their recommendation for the best workshop for your ability. All workshops are limited to 25 participants – no exceptions! – so be sure to sign up early to get the class of your choice. If you have any questions, please call the PMAC Office at 431-4278, register for a workshop online at www.pmaconline.org or e-mail Katie at katie@pmaconline.org.

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2010
2:30 - 4:00pm: Time-Feel Listening Workshop (for youth students of all levels/instruments)

In this workshop we will deal with listening for time-feel: pocket, vibe, energy, color, etc. These ideas are a vital part of the way that musicians approach the relative evenness or un-evenness of tempo to suit the music being expressed. We will listen to music ranging from hip-hop to rock to electronic music to jazz to early/classical music. We will also make time at the end of this workshop for students to provide feedback about PMAC, its programs and facility. Workshop Teaching Team: Mike Effenberger and Nick Phaneuf

7:00 - 8:30pm: Adult Student Workshop: You’ve Got Rhythm (Who Could Ask for Anything More?)
Rhythm is one of the core elements of Western music and can transcend style and genre. This workshop explores beginner to advanced concepts in rhythm, providing a starting point for further study in your lessons. What are some strategies for learning to read rhythms fluently? How do improvisers use rhythm to structure a solo? What is a non-retrogradable rhythm? How can subdividing time help us understand complex rhythms? These questions and more will be addressed as we examine rhythm as it applies to classical, jazz, swing, blues, rock, pop music and more. Bring your instruments (we’ll all play some rhythms), your hands (we’ll all clap some rhythms), your feet (we’ll tap...), and your mouths (we’ll speak, sing and ask questions). Workshop Teaching Team: Russ Grazier, Katie Papini Backus and Judy McCann

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2010
3:30 - 4:30pm: Young Student Workshop (for students age 9 and under, all levels/instruments)
How many notes does it take you to Name That Tune? Do you hear what she hears when you play Music In Your Head? Can you shape the music when you Conduct a Cacophony, Come join in all of the fun and games with music at the Young Student Workshop! Workshop Teaching Team: Bryan Bergeron-Killough and Ginna Macdonald

4:45-5:45pm: Guitar Effects (for youth guitar studentsof all levels)
We will discuss the tools and methods available to sculpt, shape and mangle the sounds of one’s instrument. Workshop Teaching Team: Nick Phaneuf, Carlos Sabina, Bryan Bergeron-Killough and Jim Dozet

6:00-7:00pm: “Blue Monk” (intermediate/advanced students, ages 12-18. Piano, Guitar, Drums, Bass, Brass, Woodwinds & Strings)
In this workshop we’ll be exploring Thelonious Monk’s “Blue Monk” and discuss different approaches on improvising with it. It is recommended that the attending students listen to at least one recorded version of the tune via iTunes, youtube, record, CD, wax cylinder, etc. Workshop Teaching Team: Mike Effenberger, Jeff Auger, Mike Walsh, Nick Phaneuf and Bryan Bergeron-Killough

7:15-8:15pm: Percussion/Drums Workshop (for youth drum students of all levels)
Most drum students are familiar with such drumming greats such as Neil Pert, Buddy Rich, John Bohnam, and Travis Barker, but are you familiar with Tony Williams, Max Roach, Steve Gadd, or Jimmy Chamberlin? These are some of the drummers we will be listening to and discussing why they are important drummers. Jim and I will also demonstrate and explain some of their classic grooves and fills that made them famous. Workshop Teaching Team: Mike Walsh and Jim Rudolf

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2010
3:30-4:30pm: String Workshop - Making Sounds With and Without the Bow (for youth string students of all levels)
We will review all of the parts of your instruments and their roles in creating sound. Then we will learn the different ways we create sound other than with the bow and try them out on your instrument. Workshop Teaching Team: Katie Papini Backus, Diane Tiezzi and Adam MacDougall

4:45-5:45pm: Pedaling Techniques for Pianists (for youth piano students of all levels)
This workshop will explore the three foot pedals, including how and when they are used, the history of their development, and especially learning and improving pedaling techniques. It is appropriate both for curious beginners who may never have used any of the pedals, and advanced students looking to add more expressiveness and excitement to their piano playing. Workshop Teaching Team: Adam MacDougall, Heather Bissell and Nicole Hajj

6:00-7:00pm: Vocal Performance (for youth voice students of all levels)
Bring a song you've been working on to share with the group. A great opportunity to prepare for an upcoming recital and to sing in a fun, friendly setting. THIS IS NOT A RECITAL! This is an opportunity for students to try out different approaches to their singing in front of others in a non-performance setting. Workshop Teaching Team: Nicole Hajj, Judy McCann, Adam MacDougall

QUESTIONS? Please call us at PMAC at 603-431-4278 or e-mail katie@pmaconline.org

Monday, May 24, 2010

Spring 2010 Deptartmental Workshops

Below is detailed information pertaining to the upcoming Departmental Workshops. This is PMAC's sixth year of providing workshops for private lesson students. It is one of the advantages of studying at a community school and designed to be fun and informative for all students. Also check out my May 2005 Blog Post: The Value of Departmental Workshops.

MUSIC DEPARTMENTAL WORKSHOPS:

June 1 - 5, 2010

What are Departmental Workshops? Departmental Workshops are master classes for all private music lesson students who study at PMAC. These workshops are presented by our faculty and focus on musicianship, performance techniques, music equipment and repertoire.

Why do I have to attend? As a private music lesson student, workshop attendance is mandatory. This is an opportunity to work with different teachers, meet students with similar interests and learn something new. There are no lessons the week of Departmental Workshops to give everyone time to attend.

When are the Workshops? The dates are the workshops are June 1-5, 2010. Please note the following: We’ve added two Friday workshops and a Saturday workshop to accommodate 5th grade students who will be attending Environmental Camp this week and the Adult Workshop will be on Tuesday evening.

Where are they located? All Workshops take place in our PMAC Recital Hall.

How do I sign-up? Please talk to your instructor directly to get their recommendation for the best workshop for your ability. All workshops are limited to 25 participants – no exceptions! – so be sure to sign up early to get the class of your choice. If you have any questions, please call the PMAC Office at 431-4278, register online at www.pmaconline.org or e-mail Katie at katie@pmaconline.org.

TUESDAY, JUNE 1, 2010

3:30-4:30pm: Vocal Workshop (for any youth voice student) – Bring a song you've been working on to share with the group. A great opportunity to prepare for an upcoming recital and to sing in a fun, friendly setting. THIS IS NOT A RECITAL! This is an opportunity for students to try out different approaches to their singing in front of others in a non-performance setting. - Workshop Leader: Nicole Hajj; Supporting Teachers: Judy McCann, Margo Nothnagel

5:00-6:00pm: Listening Workshop – Covers and Transcriptions (for any student ages 9 to 18) – What is the difference between a cover song and a music transcription? How do these re-workings of music compare to the originals? Come find out in this fun listening session! - Workshop Leader: Adam MacDougall; Supporting Teacher: Nick Phaneuf

7:00-9:00pm: Adult Workshop (for all adult students (ages 21+) – ALL adult private lesson students are asked to attend this important session where we get the opportunity to play our pieces for each other, discuss the unique challenges and joys of learning music as an adult, and partake in wonderful food and libations! - Workshop Leader: Russ Grazier; Supporting Teachers: Adam MacDougall, Mark Zielinski

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 2, 2010

3:30-4:30pm: Young Student Workshop (for students ages 8 and younger) – Designed for our youngest lesson students, this workshop encourages joy and fun in music making. - Workshop Leader: Virginia Macdonald; Supporting Teacher: Nicole Hajj

4:45-5:45pm: Violin Workshop: Ensemble Playing (for any violin student) – Play violin in a large group with other violin students. Diane Tiezzi will provide music to prepare - pick up in the PMAC office prior to the workshop! Workshop Leader: Diane Tiezzi; Supporting Teacher: Katie Backus

6-7pm: Guitar Workshop: Capos (for any guitar student) – Learn about the capo or more formally "capo tasto," a clamp-like device used on the neck of a guitar or other string instrument to shorten the strings and raise pitch. The capo has a long history and many practical uses! - Workshop Leader: Bryan Bergeron-Killough Supporting Teachers: Nick Phaneuf, Carlos Sabina

THURSDAY, JUNE 3, 2010

3:30-4:30pm: Listening Workshop: JAZZ (for all youth students) – Jazz has a rich history as America's true art form. Come spend an hour with Mike Effenberger and learn about the amazing world of jazz music through many exciting recordings. - Workshop Leader: Mike Effenberger; Supporting Teacher: Chris Klaxton

***Just Added!*** 5-6pm: Young Student Workshop (for students ages 8 and younger) – Designed for our youngest lesson students, this workshop encourages joy and fun in music making. - Workshop Leader: Virginia Macdonald; Supporting Teacher: TBA
FRIDAY, JUNE 4, 2010

3:30-4:30pm: Percussion Workshop: Drum Set Jam (for all youth drum students) – What happens when we set up five drum sets in one room and unleash a bunch of drum students? You'll only know if you come play. - Workshop Leader: Mike Walsh; Supporting Teacher: Mike Effenberger

4:45-5:45pm: How Scales Work (for any youth student) – Many of us practice scales on our instruments, but do you know how they work? Do you know how many scales exist? Going far beyond major and minor, we'll learn why E-sharp is NOT an F and how you can make amazing music with wild scale creations. Workshop Leader: Russ Grazier; Supporting Teacher: Bryan Killough

SATURDAY, JUNE 5, 2010

11:00am-12:00pm: Play the Blues (for all youth instrumentalists) – Join our faculty as we explore playing the blues. One of America's richest musical idioms, it is important for all young musicians to have a basic understanding of the blues. In this special workshop we'll play as a group - bring your instrument! Everyone will get a chance to join in and play. Even if you've never played the blues or improvised before, this workshop is a great way to start! - Workshop Leader: Matt Langley; Supporting Teachers: Nate Therrien, Mike Walsh, Jeff Auger

QUESTIONS? Please call us at PMAC at 603-431-4278 or e-mail katie@pmaconline.org

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Internet as a Music Resource

PMAC is about to launch a new blog - "Living Composer of the Month." It will be an educational resource, providing information about composers who are actively writing music today. I believe it is vitally important that our young music students, particularly classical and jazz students, understand that there is a thriving world of new music. Even our rock students sometimes get caught up playing the music of The Beatles, Led Zepplin and Cream - though they tend to be much more in touch with the music of the moment.

There is great music being written TODAY. Even though we cherish and continue to perform Beethoven, Ellington, Bach, Coltrane, and Mozart, there are wonderful composers living among us who are writing music that young musicians should be learning to play and programming on their concerts.

Our first "Living Composer of the Month" is a wonderful example of how the internet can be used to learn about today's music. Information about her music appears all over the net. There are wonderful interviews with her on YouTube and you can even stream complete recordings of some of her major compositions - without paying a penny. Of course, you can also buy her music on iTunes, or on CD from any music store (online or otherwise). You can also purchase her actual music (scores and parts) on the internet and learn to play it yourself. If you want to hear her music live, there are many resources for finding her concerts and purchasing tickets. And, through the wonders of the internet, I was able to interview her via e-mail - she doesn't live in this part of the world, yet communicating with her was remarkably easy.

I am hoping that this new project will be embraced by our students and reach an even larger audience. It is important that musicians champion the music of their time. Check back later this week - I will provide the link to the new blog. And then on May 1st we'll unveil our first Living Composer of the Month. I hope you'll come along for the ride.